While people with autism are oftentimes known as introverted, backwards or shy, many of want the same things neurotypical people have in their lives, friendships and yes, possibly a relationship.
When we as autistics try to do things in life as neurotypicals do, it can present challenges for autistics that aren’t friendly to our needs. We as autistics don’t want special treatment, we just want to be able to do things that make it manageable for us. The world also needs to be aware that autism is indeed a spectrum disorder and does not stop the minute a person turns 18.
As we know, autism is a spectrum disorder. We as autistics are unique in our very own ways, each and every one of us. No one can change that, nor should we be forced to do so. We as autistics, just as neurotypical human beings should have the freedom have the individuality that we so choose as long as our safety and well-being is kept in mind.
This week as much as last week has been a challenge. As autistics we oftentimes like things to happen precisely as we predict them. Sometimes, there are abrupt, unavoidable challenges to our routines or changes to our schedules that we don’t see coming.
This week, I have shared a few Tik Tok’s about being diagnosed in the 1990s and not knowing some autism behaviors that are common today. We just did them, we didn’t know the jargon that is used for them today. One must also understand that given one’s space it needs to be their safe space and they are free to express themselves in the way they wish.
Making a lifestyle change is a big journey. Being in for over three months and 36 or so pounds makes it seem so easy when it is absolutely not. People think as you get into it for this length of time it gets easier. While sometimes it does, there are a lot of environmental factors along with the outlook that you have that can make or break the streak that one is on at any given moment.
As we know in the autism community, there’s that cliff when school years ends for someone. I have seen numerous youths be proud to make it to this point when they were given lesser expectations. So, what happens? We certainly know that those that care for them, particularly family members may or may not want to continue to provide care or be unaware of a sea that is unchartered for many to be the one that has to take the driver’s seat in providing their daily entertainment. For almost two decades, I personally relied on my mother to do this. She cares for me very much and I am very appreciated for her efforts. However, for a majority of my life, they have negative baggage that when she does something that is intended to help me, it only hurts her, and she kept coming back for more. While I am not proud of this in the past decade it has been reduced down to only verbal abuse, nonetheless it still isn’t right as both my parents are both in their retirement years and shouldn’t have to be constantly worrying about if I am safe or not, although I feel that will always be their instinct, as is any parent who spends their life dedicated to raising an autistic child.
For many autistics, the ability to make one’s decisions can be a difficult task for an autistic to perform. For the younger crowd, one that seems to lack the ability or show the interest of one doing this will result in the parent making these choices for them, which can result in friction between the autistic and their parents. An autistic should have the autonomy to be the person they so choose to be without judgement from their parents and supporters, yet have the support they need to thrive in their world.
While some things because of my autism or mental health challenges are at times challenging, sometimes I need to experience them and not play the “card” as a crutch to get out of something. This can be difficult because when thinking independently, it can be hard to make these decisions.
While in the modern era, we advance to the need for inclusion everywhere we look such as sports, activities, the classroom and so forth, it is also important to teach autistics and others with special needs that life just isn’t fair and sometimes we all can’t be winners.